While there is a tightening of purse strings, excitement is building for winter 2022. With the addition of the men's World Cup tournament taking place over this period, there’s hope that this year will somewhat make up for the losses the trade has suffered over the last couple of years.
So far in 2022, we’ve seen that consumers want their money to go further but still crave fun experiences, environmentally sustainable products and healthier options. Some are going out less but trading up for a treat, whilst others are trading down for value so they can carry on enjoying themselves at the same rate. PROOF Insight’s Christmas 2022 trends report tells us a lot about what venues can expect from the coming festive period. Let’s look at how you can make the most of Christmas 2022!
Christmas 2022 Trends to Watch
Christmas 2022 will be the first without restrictions since 2019. As early as January of this year, nearly half of all consumers interviewed by PROOF said they were already looking forward New Year’s Eve celebrations to ring in 2023.
By July 2022 55% of 18 – 34-year-olds said they were excited for Christmas to be “back to normal.”
Special occasions are a priority
Reunions and quality time with loved ones will be key this year. Expect large groups and a celebratory atmosphere, making your venue THE space for them to reconnect and bond.
Help customers mark the occasion by serving celebratory drinks such as champagne and sparkling wine.
According to PROOF Insight, after somewhat restricted celebrations the last few years, this year customers are after the simple joy of Christmas meaning that there will be a feeling of nostalgia and a return to traditions.
Venues that lean into traditions with classic drinks and cosy settings will benefit by providing customers with the comfort they crave.
It’s important to note that financial strains mean that consumers will be extra savvy this year. It will be key for venues to demonstrate their value for money as well as a memorable out-of-home experience.
Christmas 2022 Drinks Trends
The return to the on trade saw the sale of Champagne grow as consumers celebrated. A “normal” Christmas with reunions and a world football tournament are the perfect excuses to celebrate with some fizz.
- Must list: Champagne (white and pink), Pink Prosecco, English Sparkling
PROOF’s Cider MODE 2022 explored the rise of seasonal cider serves. Given that cider is the drink of choice for women during football tournaments, there is an opportunity for winter-flavoured cider including mulled cider to become popular serves.
- Must list: Mulled cider, cider cocktails with spiced or tropical flavour notes
Mulled wine is a staple of most Christmas occasions and events, and in recent years, mulled cider has become more common. But in trend-setting bars, the trend for hot tea cocktails is increasing so we expect to see more warm alcoholic beverages.
Aged-worthy rosés that lean more towards the richer end of the spectrum have a growing presence on menus in trend-setting bars and the fashion for rosé is expected to continue to grow.
We’ve seen strong growth of draught premium world lager so far in 2022. This coupled with lager being the most popular beverage during sporting events means that the industry is expecting to serve lots of draught pints of premium world lager this winter.
- Stats for the 2016 tournament showed that there was an extra 1,340 pints of beer sold on match-days
We are seeing the resurgence of cream-based cocktails, with Piña Colada being the nation’s 2nd favourite cocktail as of May 2022. At Christmas, customers already enjoy cream-based liqueurs on ice but there is an opportunity with winter variations of the Pina Colada and the classic eggnog as nostalgia drives customers to old Christmas classics.
Making the most of Christmas 2022
As well keeping on top of key trends, there are some day-to-day actions you can take to make the holiday period a success.
Christmas Menu Design
The drinks list itself plays a key role in shaping your customers’ experiences. People heading to the trade this Christmas will be seeking treats they can’t easily get at home. Draw attention to those festive serves on your menu to maximise on this opportunity.
Making the most of outdoor spaces
Not just settings for summer drinks, venues can bring in more customers over the winter period by creating cosy and inviting outdoor spaces. The World Cup provides a great opportunity to plan successful use of outdoor spaces for customers to watch the match or enjoy a few post-match pints.
Setting up spaces under cover, with heating and a few cosy touches such as fairy lights or blankets and you’ve got yourself a comforting, welcoming space that enhances the customer experience. Not only will this outdoor space provide more room to hold more customers, but by creating an enticing wintery experience will see increase in footfall and revenue.
Operators need to offer experiences will draw customers out of their homes and into the warm welcoming arms of their venue. Think Christmas traditions, catering for all needs, and bringing that sense of nostalgia.
The majority of UK customers are excited and have high anticipations for the upcoming festive period. People want to create memorable experiences with their friends and family, and where better to create those experiences than in the much-loved on-trade?